Classic Design from Classic Inspiration

Thank you for stopping by the ranch!

This week, I'll be sharing the 2nd part of the series, where I'm sharing some of the inspirations behind the design for our new farmhouse.

You find all these beautiful inspirations in magazines and on Pinterest, and then what?

It can be really overwhelming culminating all those fabulous inspirations into ONE design.

But Never Fear...JENNIFER'S HERE!!


Ok, I'm not a design super hero, LOL, but maybe me showing you my design process, can help you take your own inspirations, and make them into your own dream space.

The Inspiration

I started my inspiration research here, in one of my childhood hometowns...Billings, Montana.

Moss Mansion in Billings, Montana

The mansion's interior inspiration was EXACTLY what I was looking for!

For our farmhouse, I wanted turn of the century inspiration, and I had found it!

I actually lived right up the street from this beautiful historic mansion, when I was 10 years old.

The home was built for Preston Moss between 1901 - 1903.

Everyday that I walked home from school, I passed this gorgeous home, and dreamt of what it must be like inside.

My 10 year old brain was already in love with interior design.

When I think of TRENDS or What's "IN" in my design research, I always go back to find what's classic/timeless, and then maybe I'll add a trendy color or accessory.

Then, no matter what, my home or my client's home, will always feel on trend.

There are trends right now, that have always been what I consider CLASSIC & TIMELESS.

Back to The Inspiration!

This is the original kitchen at Moss Mansion.

{These photos are from the museum's book on the history of the home.}

This is Classic, This is Timeless!

Do you see what I mean now by classic and timeless?...

The subway tile for days!

Farmhouse sink with turned legs...

Black and white mini and large tiles on the floor, and marble counter tops...

Industrial light fixtures with Edison bulbs...

I was also in love with that gorgeous hood and cook-top/oven.

The shaker style cabinetry...

I could stare at this photo for days!

The bathroom in the mansion was no exception.

The square tiles, the chrome and porcelain fixtures, hexagonal tiles on the floor, thicker door casing and moulding.

Now look at this beautiful tile in the conservatory...

Does the design look familiar?...

There are lots of tiles out there right now, in grey and white, and black and white, that mimic this style and design.

Now that I had a design flow going, I could start pulling it all together, and start designing our farmhouse.

Now for the Interior Design


The entryway design was meant to mimic historic homes, down to the newel posts.

I designed the newel posts to have a shaker fee,l to mimic the shaker cabinetry. The hand blown glass balls on top, were there to reflect the sunlight streaming in, and add a bit of playfulness to all the straight lines.

The hardwood floors I chose, were similar to those found in antique homes. They are wide plank, (7"), and white oak with a grey overtone, that is sometimes hard to show in photos.

The light fixtures are mercury glass and have Edison bulbs, for that antique soft glow.

When designing the house, I asked the architect, "how high can we get the ceilings"?

I wanted them as high as possible!

The tall ceilings, large windows, all mimic the historic farmhouses of the South.

The ceiling height in historic homes of the South were tall for airflow, to disperse the heat.

Up North, a lot of the homes have ceilings that are low, to hold in the heat.

The ceilings in our farmhouse are 12' tall or taller throughout the bottom floor.

I chose thick trim moulding, (painted in Alabaster white, by Sherwin Williams), throughout the entryway and dining room, to add some depth and texture to the space.

This also included 7.5" baseboards throughout the home.

I decided on the white color, because I wanted the outdoor colors of our surroundings, with the hay pastures and woods, to be the focal point of each space.

I love how so far, we have seen Summer, Fall and Winter, with an ever changing color scheme that really adds to the charm of each room.

Living Room

In this room, we decided to put in a cathedral ceiling with two dormer windows to add more light.

This is the inspiration room from Pinterest.

This was the inspiration for the tension rods and turnbuckles.

I loved how it brought the ceiling down and yet kept the room feeling light and airy.

Now that I had the ceiling designed, the next step was the fireplace.

It had to represent those historic farmhouse fireplaces of stone, with large openings to heat the home.

The Stone Fireplace...

Commence eye rolling!

Who Knew my dream of having large solid stones for the surround, was almost just that...A DREAM!

The fireplace opening is 4' wide and 3 1/2' tall.

A terrible photo, but you get the idea...the fireplace is pretty big!

The fireplace has a 6' solid stone base and top, with 4' solid stone sides.

It took over 4 hours to get just those 4 stones in place.

The stone mason said he'd been doing this for over 25 years, and he'd never forget this fireplace!

That may or may not have been a compliment! LOL!

Yes, that's a car jack!

I thought they might give up!

I was so happy with the final product...

Pulling all the inspirations, into one open living room, with lots of open space and lots of sunlight.

I believe the overall center height for the living room is about 24' high.

The fireplace was finished off with an antique civil war gun gifted to me by my grandfather, when I was 8 in spirit, and then officially given to me by my grandfather in our first home, a few years before he passed away.

It felt perfect over the fireplace, in a farmhouse on the Texas prairies.

I may change my mind on anything else over the fireplace, but for now, I'm letting the fireplace speak for itself!

The beams and the turnbuckles were the finishing touches to the room.

The furniture is more trendy in the contemporary lines, but I chose neutral tones, with pillows that can be changed out in keeping with color and design trends.

The large photo on the wall adds a more rustic touch.

The photo called out to us with thistles in the forefront, and an antique homestead in the background.

It was the perfect addition to the living room in the farmhouse here at Thistle Hill Ranch.

I also love how the living room is open to the kitchen too.

Next week you'll see the inspiration for here.

The Powder Room/Pool Bathroom

The powder room and pool bath became one in the same with the layout of the farmhouse.

I wanted this room to feel formal enough for a powder bathroom, and rustic enough for a pool bath.

This room ended up being the perfect place to add shiplap.

This is a room where shiplap would feel natural and not forced.

The powder room was on an exterior wall, and an area of the home where it would have been an add-on, if this had been an 1800's farmhouse.

I took the shiplap all the way around the whole room, and all the way up to the 12' ceiling.

This added texture to the room without being too busy for the small space.

(This room is also painted Alabaster)

I added historic "looking" tile... and if you remember the tile in the Moss mansion conservatory, this tile also has a similar, almost Moroccan or Moorish feel.

I loved that it felt antique, and gave a feeling of a pioneering family that had traveled, and brought back the foreign tile to put into their home.

The Kohler sink adds another piece to feel a tad antique.

The mirror from Target, also mimicked that Moorish style with a little shimmer of gold to break up the white.

The art I chose, reiterated our surroundings.

It is an Audubon Blue Heron, that we often see frequenting our pond and marshy areas on the ranch.

I felt it was the perfect colorful antique (reproduction) art piece for the space with a touch of modern in the frame.

Your home tells a story about you, whether you realize it or not.

Our story is that we love the history of our land, and the history of those daring & adventurous pioneers of Texas.

The new farmhouse, on old land, needed to reflect the spirit of those before us.

Anything else wouldn't have felt right...

Square peg...Round hole

So hopefully, our farmhouse tells the right story.

But either way, it's ours!

This is our new adventure, and we are so happy to share it with you.

Thank you for stopping by the ranch to say Hi, and joining us in our story of bringing the history of our land into our farmhouse, and our future at Thistle Hill Ranch.

Next week, I will be sharing our kitchen, and how a New Kitchen can have the feeling of a Past.

So stop by the ranch next week, pull up a rocker, and sit a spell, while I share more design inspirations and stories of Thistle Hill Ranch.